What Are the Causes of Eczema?

Q:
What are the causes of eczema?

A:
Eczema is a condition where patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked, and rough. Blisters may sometimes occur.

The specific cause of eczema remains unknown. However, the most common causes are genetic and environmental factors.

Genetic factors:

  • Children are more likely to develop eczema if a parent has had the condition or another atopic disease.
  • If both parents have an atopic disease, the risk is even greater.

Environmental factors:

  • Irritants: These include soaps, detergents, shampoos, disinfectants, juices from fresh fruits, meats, or vegetables.
  • Allergens: Dust mites, pets, pollens, mold, and dandruff can lead to eczema.
  • Microbes: These include bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, viruses, and certain fungi.
  • Hot and cold temperatures: Very hot or cold weather, high and low humidity, and perspiration from exercise can bring out eczema.
  • Foods: Dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, soy products, and wheat can cause eczema flare-ups.
  • Stress: This is not a direct cause of eczema but can make symptoms worse.
  • Hormones: Women can experience increased eczema symptoms at times when their hormone levels are changing, for example during pregnancy and at certain points in the menstrual cycle.

Please go to your doctor for more information.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.